Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice is a major government department, at the heart of the justice system. We work to protect and advance the principles of justice. Our vision is to deliver a world-class justice system that works for everyone in society.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Plaid Cymru
Liz Saville Roberts (PC - Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice)

Liberal Democrat
Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames (LD - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Justice)

Labour
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Justice)

Liberal Democrat
Alistair Carmichael (LD - Orkney and Shetland)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice)

Scottish National Party
David Linden (SNP - Glasgow East)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Social Justice)
Chris Stephens (SNP - Glasgow South West)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice)

Labour
Shabana Mahmood (Lab - Birmingham, Ladywood)
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Alex Cunningham (Lab - Stockton North)
Shadow Minister (Justice)
Janet Daby (Lab - Lewisham East)
Shadow Minister (Youth Justice)
Ruth Cadbury (Lab - Brentford and Isleworth)
Shadow Minister (Justice)
Ministers of State
Edward Argar (Con - Charnwood)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Lord Bellamy (Con - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
Mike Freer (Con - Finchley and Golders Green)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
Gareth Bacon (Con - Orpington)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
Scheduled Event
Monday 26th February 2024
Ministry of Justice
Legislation - Main Chamber
Victims and Prisoners Bill - committee stage (day 6)
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Tuesday 12th March 2024
Ministry of Justice
Legislation - Main Chamber
Victims and Prisoners Bill - committee stage (day 6)
View calendar
Scheduled Event
Tuesday 26th March 2024
11:30
Ministry of Justice
Oral questions - Main Chamber
26 Mar 2024, 11:30 a.m.
Justice (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Debates
Friday 23rd February 2024
Select Committee Inquiry
Wednesday 22nd November 2023
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases the Tribunals Service has completed in each of the …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Suitability for Fixed Term Recall) Order 2024
This Order amends section 255A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) (“the 2003 Act”).
Bills
Tuesday 21st November 2023
Arbitration Bill [HL] 2023-24
To amend the Arbitration Act 1996.
Dept. Publications
Friday 23rd February 2024
16:58

Ministry of Justice Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Feb. 20
Oral Questions
Nov. 20
Topical Questions
Nov. 29
Westminster Hall
Nov. 30
Adjournment Debate
View All Ministry of Justice Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Introduced: 29th March 2023

A Bill to make provision about victims of criminal conduct and others affected by criminal conduct; about the appointment and functions of advocates for victims of major incidents; about the release of prisoners; about the membership and functions of the Parole Board; to prohibit certain prisoners from forming a marriage or civil partnership; and for connected purposes.

Commons Completed
Lords - 60%

Last Event - Committee Stage
Tuesday 13th February 2024
Next Event - Committee Stage
Monday 26th February 2024
Introduced: 21st November 2023

To amend the Arbitration Act 1996.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Wednesday 17th January 2024
(Read Debate)
Introduced: 14th November 2023

A Bill to make provision about the sentencing of offenders convicted of murder or sexual offences; to make provision about the suspension of custodial sentences; to make provision about the release of offenders, including provision about release on licence; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Wednesday 6th December 2023

Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Introduced: 9th March 2021

A Bill to make provision about the police and other emergency workers; to make provision about collaboration between authorities to prevent and reduce serious violence; to make provision about offensive weapons homicide reviews; to make provision for new offences and for the modification of existing offences; to make provision about the powers of the police and other authorities for the purposes of preventing, detecting, investigating or prosecuting crime or investigating other matters; to make provision about the maintenance of public order; to make provision about the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles; to make provision in connection with driving offences; to make provision about cautions; to make provision about bail and remand; to make provision about sentencing, detention, release, management and rehabilitation of offenders; to make provision about secure 16 to 19 Academies; to make provision for and in connection with procedures before courts and tribunals; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 21st July 2021

A Bill to Make provision about the provision that may be made by, and the effects of, quashing orders; to make provision restricting judicial review of certain decisions of the Upper Tribunal; to make provision about the use of written and electronic procedures in courts and tribunals; to make other provision about procedure in, and the organisation of, courts and tribunals; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 20th May 2020

A Bill to make provision about the sentencing of offenders convicted of terrorism offences, of offences with a terrorist connection or of certain other offences; to make other provision in relation to terrorism; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 27th February 2020

A Bill to implement the Hague Conventions of 1996, 2005 and 2007 and to provide for the implementation of other international agreements on private international law.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 14th December 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 8th January 2020

To require the Parole Board to take into account any failure by a prisoner serving a sentence for unlawful killing or for taking or making an indecent image of a child to disclose information about the victim.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 4th November 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 5th March 2020

A Bill to consolidate certain enactments relating to sentencing.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 22nd October 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 7th January 2020

A bill to make in relation to marriage and civil partnership in England and Wales provision about divorce, dissolution and separation; and for connected purposes

This Bill received Royal Assent on 25th June 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 21st January 2020

A bill to give effect to Law Commission recommendations relating to commencement of enactments relating to sentencing law and to make provision for pre-consolidation amendments of sentencing law

This Bill received Royal Assent on 8th June 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 11th February 2020

A Bill to make provision about the release on licence of offenders convicted of terrorist offences or offences with a terrorist connection; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 26th February 2020 and was enacted into law.

Ministry of Justice - Secondary Legislation

This Order amends section 255A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (c. 44) (“the 2003 Act”).
The Supreme Court Fees Order 2009 (S.I. 2009/2131 (L. 25)) (“the 2009 Order”) specified the fees payable in the Supreme Court. This Order consolidates the 2009 Order and its amending instruments and increases the fees payable to account for historic inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI).
View All Ministry of Justice Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
127,249 Signatures
(5,538 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
14,386 Signatures
(1,481 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
6,462 Signatures
(693 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
175 Signatures
(81 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
127,249 Signatures
(5,538 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
14,386 Signatures
(1,481 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
7,038 Signatures
(12 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed
231,136
Petition Closed
7 Aug 2022
closed 1 year, 6 months ago

The proposed Human Rights Act reforms must be withdrawn. The Government must not make any changes to the Human Rights Act, especially ones that dilute people's human rights in any circumstances, make the Government less accountable, or reduce people's ability to make human rights claims.

167,690
Petition Closed
5 Jan 2023
closed 1 year, 1 month ago

As Parliament considers the Bill of Rights, the Government must reconsider including abortion rights in this Bill. Rights to abortion must be specifically protected in this legislation, especially as the Government has refused to rule out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

The offence of causing 'death by dangerous driving' should be widened to include: failure to stop, call 999 and render aid on scene until further help arrives.

View All Ministry of Justice Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Justice Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


10 Members of the Justice Committee
Robert Neill Portrait
Robert Neill (Conservative - Bromley and Chislehurst)
Justice Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Kieran Mullan Portrait
Kieran Mullan (Conservative - Crewe and Nantwich)
Justice Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Maria Eagle Portrait
Maria Eagle (Labour - Garston and Halewood)
Justice Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Paul Maynard Portrait
Paul Maynard (Conservative - Blackpool North and Cleveleys)
Justice Committee Member since 2nd November 2021
Karl Turner Portrait
Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
Justice Committee Member since 17th May 2022
James Daly Portrait
James Daly (Conservative - Bury North)
Justice Committee Member since 27th June 2022
Edward Timpson Portrait
Edward Timpson (Conservative - Eddisbury)
Justice Committee Member since 29th November 2022
Tahir Ali Portrait
Tahir Ali (Labour - Birmingham, Hall Green)
Justice Committee Member since 28th March 2023
Chris Stephens Portrait
Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
Justice Committee Member since 12th September 2023
Rachel Hopkins Portrait
Rachel Hopkins (Labour - Luton South)
Justice Committee Member since 5th December 2023
Justice Committee: Previous Inquiries
Constitutional relationship with the Crown Dependencies The work of the Lord Chancellor Coronavirus (COVID-19): The impact on prison, probation and court systems Ageing prison population Joint Enterprise: Follow-Up Mesothelioma claims The work of the Lord Chief Justice The work of the Youth Justice Board Manorial rights The work of the Administrative Justice Forum Women offenders: follow-up session The work of the Secretary of State: one-off Work of the Court of Protection The work of the Judicial Appointments Commission The work of the Parole Board Impact of changes to civil legal aid under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 Prisons: planning and policies Scrutiny Hearing: Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints Older Prisoners: follow-up MOJ Annual Report and Accounts 2013-14 and related matters Criminal Cases Review Commission Follow up session on crime reduction policies and Transforming Rehabilitation Pre-appointment of new HM Chief Inspector of CPS Robbery Offences Guideline: Consultation Work of the Justice Committee during the 2010-2015 Parliament Health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences guidelines consultation The work of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Work of HM Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service The work of the Attorney General Ministry of Justice report and accounts 2014-15 and related matters Work of Secretary of State for Justice Courts and tribunals fees and charges inquiry Young adult offenders inquiry Restorative justice inquiry Role of the magistracy inquiry Prison safety one-off evidence session Pre-appointment scrutiny Youth Justice Women Offenders Crown Dependencies: developments since 2010 Older prisoners Crime reduction policies: a co-ordinated approach? Post-Legislative Scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 EU Data Protection Framework Proposals Role of the Probation Service Court closures and other issues within the Minister's remit Operation of the Family Courts Access to Justice Draft Sentencing Guideline: Drug Offences and Burglary The Annual Report of the Sentencing Council Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council Ministry of Justice measures in the JHA block opt-out Prison reform inquiry Legal Services Regulation Criminal justice inspectorates and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Radicalisation in prisons and other prison matters Pre-appointment scrutiny of the Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission Law of homicide Ministry of Justice Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16 The Work of the Secretary of State Work of the Serious Fraud Office Children and young people in custody Disclosure of youth criminal records inquiry Implications of Brexit for the justice system inquiry Work of the Crown Prosecution Service HM Inspectorate of Prisons' relationship with the Ministry of Justice The Lord Chief Justice's report for 2015 Prison reform The work of the Law Commission The work of the sentencing council The Lord Chief Justice's report for 2017 inquiry The work of the Ministry of Justice Work of the Parole Board Young adults in the criminal justice system; and youth custodial estate Pre-legislative scrutiny: draft personal injury discount rate legislation inquiry Transforming Rehabilitation inquiry Prison Population 2022: planning for the future inquiry Employment tribunal fees Work of the Crown Prosecution Service Work of the Serious Fraud Office Work of the Victims' Commissioner Implications of Brexit for the Crown Dependencies inquiry Lord Chief Justice's report 2016 Government consultation on soft tissue injury claims Courts and tribunals fees follow-up Transforming Rehabilitation inquiry Pre-appointment hearing: Chair of the Office for Legal Complaints Personal injury: whiplash and the small claims limits inquiry Work of the Prison Service inquiry The work of the Lord Chancellor inquiry Work of the Victims' Commissioner inquiry Ageing prison population - inquiry Children and young people in custody - inquiry Prison governance inquiry HM Chief Inspector of Probation inquiry The work of the Solicitor General inquiry Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 inquiry Progress in the implementation of the Lammy Review's recommendations inquiry Pre-appointment hearing for HM Chief Inspector of Probation inquiry Court and Tribunal Reforms inquiry Work of the Attorney General inquiry Bailiffs: Enforcement of debt inquiry Serious Fraud Office inquiry Director of Public Prosecutions, Crown Prosecution Service - evidence session The Lord Chief Justice's Report for 2018 inquiry The role of the magistracy – follow up inquiry HMP Birmingham inquiry The implications of Brexit for the justice system: follow-up inquiry Pre-commencement hearing: Chair of the Parole Board inquiry Ministry of Justice Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18 inquiry Pre-appointment hearing: Prisons and Probation Ombudsman inquiry The work of the Law Commission Criminal legal aid Disclosure of evidence in criminal cases inquiry Small claims limit for personal injury inquiry The transparency of Parole Board decisions and involvement of victims in the process HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Liverpool Private prosecutions: safeguards The Coroner Service The future of the Probation Service Pre-legislative scrutiny of the Victims Bill Public opinion and understanding of sentencing The prison operational workforce Whiplash Reform and the Official Injury Claim service Future prison population and estate capacity The use of pre-recorded cross-examination under Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 Work of the County Court Regulation of the legal professions The Coroner Service: follow-up Probate Ageing prison population Bailiffs: Enforcement of debt Children and young people in custody Court and Tribunal Reforms Criminal legal aid Work of the Crown Prosecution Service Director of Public Prosecutions Employment tribunal fees HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on HMP Liverpool HMP Birmingham The implications of Brexit for the justice system: follow-up Prison governance HM Chief Inspector of Probation Progress in the implementation of the Lammy Review's recommendations Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 The Lord Chief Justice's Report for 2018 Ministry of Justice Annual Report and Accounts 2017-18 Work of the Parole Board Pre-appointment hearing for HM Chief Inspector of Probation Pre-commencement hearing: Chair of the Parole Board Prison Population 2022: planning for the future The role of the magistracy – follow up Serious Fraud Office Transforming Rehabilitation Transparency of Parole Board decisions Work of the Victims' Commissioner Work of the Attorney General The work of the Law Commission The work of the Ministry of Justice The work of the Solicitor General Work of the Serious Fraud Office Young adults in the criminal justice system The work of the Lord Chancellor Work of the Prison Service The Lord Chief Justice's report for 2017 inquiry

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of claims to the Tribunals Service were in relation to (a) unfair dismissal, (b) unpaid wages, (c) unpaid holiday pay and (d) unlawful discrimination since April 2023.

Information on the proportion of claims accepted by the Employment Tribunal Service for the period up to September 2023 are outlined in the attached table.

Data is a subset of the published statistics.

Statistical information in relation to the Employment Tribunal can be found in our published stats: www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics.

We currently only have data published up to September 2023.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of claims to the Tribunals Service since 1 April 2023 were not in relation to financial awards.

Tribunals administered by HM Courts and Tribunals Service exercise a wide and diverse range of jurisdictions, including appeals against decisions made by public bodies and party versus party claims.

The number and proportion of claims not relating to financial awards varies by tribunal jurisdiction and a breakdown of claims by jurisdiction is published quarterly in Tribunal Statistics: Tribunal Statistics Quarterly: July to September 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases the Tribunals Service has completed in each of the last five years.

Information about the number of Tribunal cases administered by HM Courts and Tribunals Service that were disposed in each of the last five years is published in Tribunal Statistics: Tribunal Statistics Quarterly: July to September 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

HMCTS continues to invest in improving tribunal productivity through the recruitment of additional Judges, deployment of Legal Officers to actively manage cases, the development of modern case management systems and the use of remote hearing technology.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many assaults on prison officers have involved razors in each of the last 24 months.

The number of assaults on prison officers involving razors in each of the last 24 months, and subsequently how many of those have resulted in (a) hospitalisation or (b) prison officers leaving the service could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Data on how many prisoners have been successfully prosecuted for attacks on prison officers with razors could also only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and recognise the risks associated with the current wet shave razor provision. In the 2021 Prison Safety White Paper, we committed to trial alternatives to wet-shave razors in prisons to test whether a change in approach might lead to a safer environment for both prisoners and staff. Throughout 2022 and 2023 six pilots have been carried out in the male estate and one carried out in the female estate.

Testing at all sites has now concluded and the results are being evaluated. The evaluation will consider outcomes, learning and positive practice from across all pilot sites and will be measured against the impact they have had on violence and/or self-harm.

The evaluation will be completed by the end of March 2024. This evaluation will enable us to make informed recommendations on future shaving provision in prison establishments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many assaults on prison officers involving razors have resulted in (a) hospitalisation and (b) prison officers leaving the service in each of the last 24 months.

The number of assaults on prison officers involving razors in each of the last 24 months, and subsequently how many of those have resulted in (a) hospitalisation or (b) prison officers leaving the service could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Data on how many prisoners have been successfully prosecuted for attacks on prison officers with razors could also only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and recognise the risks associated with the current wet shave razor provision. In the 2021 Prison Safety White Paper, we committed to trial alternatives to wet-shave razors in prisons to test whether a change in approach might lead to a safer environment for both prisoners and staff. Throughout 2022 and 2023 six pilots have been carried out in the male estate and one carried out in the female estate.

Testing at all sites has now concluded and the results are being evaluated. The evaluation will consider outcomes, learning and positive practice from across all pilot sites and will be measured against the impact they have had on violence and/or self-harm.

The evaluation will be completed by the end of March 2024. This evaluation will enable us to make informed recommendations on future shaving provision in prison establishments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of assaults on prison officers involving razors.

The number of assaults on prison officers involving razors in each of the last 24 months, and subsequently how many of those have resulted in (a) hospitalisation or (b) prison officers leaving the service could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Data on how many prisoners have been successfully prosecuted for attacks on prison officers with razors could also only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and recognise the risks associated with the current wet shave razor provision. In the 2021 Prison Safety White Paper, we committed to trial alternatives to wet-shave razors in prisons to test whether a change in approach might lead to a safer environment for both prisoners and staff. Throughout 2022 and 2023 six pilots have been carried out in the male estate and one carried out in the female estate.

Testing at all sites has now concluded and the results are being evaluated. The evaluation will consider outcomes, learning and positive practice from across all pilot sites and will be measured against the impact they have had on violence and/or self-harm.

The evaluation will be completed by the end of March 2024. This evaluation will enable us to make informed recommendations on future shaving provision in prison establishments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of ending the supply of razors to prisoners.

The number of assaults on prison officers involving razors in each of the last 24 months, and subsequently how many of those have resulted in (a) hospitalisation or (b) prison officers leaving the service could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Data on how many prisoners have been successfully prosecuted for attacks on prison officers with razors could also only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and recognise the risks associated with the current wet shave razor provision. In the 2021 Prison Safety White Paper, we committed to trial alternatives to wet-shave razors in prisons to test whether a change in approach might lead to a safer environment for both prisoners and staff. Throughout 2022 and 2023 six pilots have been carried out in the male estate and one carried out in the female estate.

Testing at all sites has now concluded and the results are being evaluated. The evaluation will consider outcomes, learning and positive practice from across all pilot sites and will be measured against the impact they have had on violence and/or self-harm.

The evaluation will be completed by the end of March 2024. This evaluation will enable us to make informed recommendations on future shaving provision in prison establishments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of plans to replace the segregation unit at HMP Bedford.

The design brief for the new care and separation unit at HMP Bedford was to identify a suitable location for a facility which would address HMIP concerns while minimising the impacts on operational capacity, security and regime. The proposal agreed with the Prison was to covert part of B wing into the new unit in place of place the old one.

The care and separation unit is due to be completed in early March 2024, however additional works are required in B wing before the wing can be put back into use. While the programme for this is not yet finalised, the aim is for the new unit to open before the end of the year.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he expects the new segregation unit at HMP Bedford to be (a) completed and (b) opened.

The design brief for the new care and separation unit at HMP Bedford was to identify a suitable location for a facility which would address HMIP concerns while minimising the impacts on operational capacity, security and regime. The proposal agreed with the Prison was to covert part of B wing into the new unit in place of place the old one.

The care and separation unit is due to be completed in early March 2024, however additional works are required in B wing before the wing can be put back into use. While the programme for this is not yet finalised, the aim is for the new unit to open before the end of the year.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been held on the segregation unit at HMP Bedford since 17 November 2023.

As records of prisoners who have left the prison on transfer or on release are no longer accessible to the prison, it is not possible, without incurring disproportionate cost, to say how many individual prisoners were segregated during the period.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2024 to Question 11801 on Prison Officers: Labour Turnover, how many and what proportion of prison officers recruited at Wandsworth Prison in 2023 had left the prison service on 9 February 2024.

The quarterly HMPPS workforce statistics publication covers staffing information, including leavers, and the latest publication covers data up to 31 December 2023. Figures covering data up to 31 March 2024 are due for publication on 16 May 2024 and therefore this information cannot be released.

In the period from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023, there were 113 band 3-5 prison officers who joined HMP Wandsworth. Details of the number and proportion who have left HMPPS as of 31 December 2023 are given in the table below.

Table 1: Status of band 3-5 prison officers (1) who joined (2) HMP Wandsworth between 01 January 2023 and 31 December 2023 - as of 31 December 2023

Remained or left

Headcount

Percentage

Working in public sector prisons (including YCS)

106

93.8%

Left HMPPS altogether

7

6.2%

Total

113

100.0%

Notes to table 1:

(1) Includes Bands 3-4 / Prison Officer (incl specialists), Band 4 / Supervising Officer and Band 5 / Custodial Managers.

(2) New recruits joining HMPPS - does not include internal transfers or conversions.

Across HMPPS, retention continues to be a priority. Exit interviews have been in place since 2021 to determine the reasons for leaving and appropriate action needed. Retention strategies and toolkits based around drivers of attrition, such as leadership and career progression, have been in place since 2021 to determine appropriate national and local interventions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many days HMP Wandsworth has been at a (a) red, (b) amber-red and (c) amber-green operating state since 1 February 2023.

During the period since 1 Feb 2023, the regime at the prison has been at Green-Amber status for three weeks, and at Amber-Red for 51 weeks. Amber-Red confers that a safe, decent, secure, resilient and sustainable regime is being delivered, including purposeful activities, showers and exercise, and all essential services.

To improve regime delivery there has been significant focus on the recruitment of staff at HMP Wandsworth, with 66 new prison officers currently in training and being deployed to the prison in the coming weeks. In the meantime, HMP Wandsworth is being provided with continuing support through additional “Payment Plus” hours, equivalent to 39 additional prison officers. The Prison will continue to receive support as required and regularly reviews the level of regime it is able safely to deliver.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish data on the gender of people ordered to wear an alcohol monitoring device in each year since 2020.

Alcohol monitored, electronic monitoring subjects by gender, England and Wales, at month's end, from March 2021. Source: AMS Contractor data.

Mar-21

Mar-22

Mar-23

Males and Females

Number

Females

7

116

248

Number

Males

28

778

1,991

Number

Other

..

4

9

Total number

Total

35

898

2,248

Males and Females

Proportion of total

Females

20%

13%

11%

Proportion of total

Males

80%

87%

89%

Proportion of total

Other

..

0%

0%

These figures are drawn from administrative data systems provided by contractors. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent.

‘Other’ refers to instances in which data on gender has not been received, or the individual has not disclosed their gender or identifies as non-binary.

The table includes individuals wearing an alcohol monitoring device and subject to an Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) as a requirement of a community order or suspended sentence order, and individuals subject to an Alcohol Monitoring on Licence (AML) condition following custody.

AAMR is a community-based sentence requirement for alcohol related offending which imposes an alcohol ban for up to 120 days, compliance is electronically monitored using an alcohol tag. AAMR was introduced in Wales in October 2020 and was expanded to all England and Wales in March 2021.

AML allows probation to impose an additional licence condition that either bans drinking alcohol or limits use, monitored by an alcohol tag. Rollout in England and Wales was completed in June 2022.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to enact section 4 of the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Act 2019.

Work to publish the response to the 2019 consultation on coronial investigations of stillbirths was paused during the pandemic, and since then the landscape of maternity investigations has changed significantly.

The findings of the consultation were complex, and it is imperative that they are carefully considered when deciding whether the coronial jurisdiction should be extended to include the investigation of stillbirths.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times the National Tactical Response Group were deployed to prisons in 2023.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer I gave on 19 February 2024 to Question 13524: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2024-02-07/13524.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that offenders are prepared for life outside prison.

Effective resettlement is a core part of our efforts to reduce reoffending.

We are introducing resettlement passports, bringing together key information and services in one place, to address individual drivers of repeat offending and enable continuity of support on release.

We have introduced ID and Banking Administrators in 93 prisons to ensure prisoners leave custody with the basics required to start work, find accommodation and claim Universal Credit, with over 26,000 IDs arranged since April 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what additional allowances are paid to prison officers on detached duty.

Staff on national detached duty are entitled to a bonus payment that varies depending on the length of the deployment. Details are given in the table below:

4 weeks

8 weeks

12 weeks

£500

£1200

£2000

Additionally, and in line with the National Travel and Subsistence policy (PSI 15/2021), staff are entitled to claim overnight subsistence at £25 per night, and business mileage at a rate of 45p per mile for any additional travel incurred, as well as for the cost of bed and breakfast accommodation where applicable, at rates that vary depending on the location.

An average of 332.35 staff each week were deployed on national detached duty during 2023.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times prison officers were deployed on detached duty in 2023.

Staff on national detached duty are entitled to a bonus payment that varies depending on the length of the deployment. Details are given in the table below:

4 weeks

8 weeks

12 weeks

£500

£1200

£2000

Additionally, and in line with the National Travel and Subsistence policy (PSI 15/2021), staff are entitled to claim overnight subsistence at £25 per night, and business mileage at a rate of 45p per mile for any additional travel incurred, as well as for the cost of bed and breakfast accommodation where applicable, at rates that vary depending on the location.

An average of 332.35 staff each week were deployed on national detached duty during 2023.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when his Department plans to respond to the correspondence of 3 January 2024 from the Rt hon. Member for East Ham, reference ST114629.

The Ministry of Justice takes the handling of correspondence very seriously. The Right Honourable Member’s correspondence was initially sent to the incorrect address. After liaising with his office, the Ministry of Justice correspondence team is now handling the request as per our usual processes. A response will be provided by 1 March 2024.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times a (a) Tornado and (b) national tactical response team was deployed to HMP Lowdham Grange in the last 24 months.

The National Tactical Response Group (NTRG) are a specialist resource that provide intervention options to the Silver and Gold commanders. NTRG is a highly trained team that provide expertise in technical interventions that would carry higher risk of failure or injury, and which require skills and equipment limited only to NTRG staff.

Operation Tornado is a national mutual aid plan by which prisons support one another in the event of a serious incident or occurrence requiring a reinforcement of staff. Operation Tornado is employed by HMPPS for three main reasons:

  • In response to a serious incident requiring a reinforcement of staff.
  • In response to other events or crisis requiring additional staff, who may not necessarily need to be Tornado trained.
  • To aid the transfer of prisoners in the event of a serious incident or the threat of one (with the GOLD commander’s agreement).

In the 24 months from January 2022 there were 3 Tornado activations.

In the 24 months from January 2022 there were 40 national tactical response team deployments.

The Ministry of Justice took over the running of HMP Lowdham Grange on 18 December 2023 for an interim period to improve safety and security at the prison.

The immediate steps to stabilise the prison include:

  • Deploying a new Governor to take command of the establishment
  • Bringing in experienced HMPPS staff, including prison officers to bolster staffing levels and additional managers to strengthen leadership at the prison
  • Launching an immediate review of conditions and compliance at the prison so remedial action can be taken to improve stability, security and safety.
Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether all (a) buildings and (b) workplaces staff from their Department occupy have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment under Section 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The Ministry of Justice has a Health and Safety policy and Occupational Health and Safety Management System in place, which requires suitable and sufficient risk assessments to ensure all occupational health and safety hazards and risks are adequately identified, assessed, controlled and monitored.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many safeguarding referrals have been made from each (a) young offender institution and (b) secure training centre for people aged 18 or over in each of the last five years.

The data requested are set out in the following tables:

Young Offender Institutions

2020

2021

2022

2023

Cookham Wood

8

*

25

22

Feltham A

10

10

12

28

Parc YPU

0

0

*

15

Werrington

*

7

*

29

Wetherby

14

36

32

61


Secure Training Centres

2020

2021

2022

2023

Oakhill

8

*

0

9

Rainsbrook

13

9

-

-

Notes

1. The symbol * is used for suppressed values of 5 or fewer, to prevent disclosure in accordance with data protection principles. Zero figures are not suppressed.

2. Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre closed in December 2021.

3. Please note that the above is classed as internal management information.

4. Following Urgent Notification at Oakhill Secure Training Centre in October 2021, safeguarding data recording processes were reviewed and central collation of this data was ceased for the period of October - December 2021. Safeguarding processes were maintained locally for the period and following revision, central data collation recommenced in January 2022.

When a safeguarding case is opened, the detail of the case may not be known. We conduct a thorough investigation of every case to understand the details and the severity of the concern and ensure that any necessary actions are taken to protect the children in our custody. It is not the case that an increase in safeguarding cases should always be a matter of concern: this would be dependent on the nature of the case. An increased number of cases may represent increased confidence on the part of staff in reporting concerns or may indicate that children feel safe to disclose information to staff. It is by conducting a thorough investigation that we can understand the nature of each case and identify any trends that need to be addressed.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an estimate of the number of young people aged 18 or over in the youth secure estate who have been separated from their peers for more than seven days in the last 12 months.

The latest 12-month period for which data are available is 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. During that period, 56 young people aged 18 or over in the youth secure estate were separated for more than seven days. All of these were in young offender institutions.

In making the above calculation, the following rules were applied:

  • Where a period of separation began before 01 April 2022, the full duration of the separation has been counted.
  • Where a period of separation began before 31 March 2023, it is deemed to have ended on 31 March 2023 for the purpose of this calculation.
  • The data provided relate to continuous periods of separation of more than seven days.
  • If a new period of separation began within five days of a previous period of separation’s ending, it is deemed to be a single continuous period of separation.
  • Young people aged 17 when their separation began, but who turned 18 more than seven days before the separation ended have been counted.

On 31 December 2023, there were 153 young people aged 18 or over in the youth estate. Details of their ethnicity and religious affiliation are provided in the following tables.

Number of 18+ year olds by ethnic group, December 2023

Number of 18+ year olds

Asian

8

Black

48

Mixed

22

Not Known

*

Other

*

White

69

Grand Total

153


Note
The symbol * is used for suppressed values of five or fewer, to prevent disclosure in accordance with data protection principles. Zero figures are not suppressed.

Number of 18+ year olds by religious group, December 2023

Number of 18+ year olds

No Religion

24

Christian

55

Muslim

22

Other religion

10

Religion not stated

42

Grand Total

153

As of 06 February 2024, the oldest young person accommodated in the youth estate was 18 years old.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many young people aged 18 or over from each (a) ethnic group and (b) religion were in the youth estate as of 31 December 2023.

The latest 12-month period for which data are available is 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. During that period, 56 young people aged 18 or over in the youth secure estate were separated for more than seven days. All of these were in young offender institutions.

In making the above calculation, the following rules were applied:

  • Where a period of separation began before 01 April 2022, the full duration of the separation has been counted.
  • Where a period of separation began before 31 March 2023, it is deemed to have ended on 31 March 2023 for the purpose of this calculation.
  • The data provided relate to continuous periods of separation of more than seven days.
  • If a new period of separation began within five days of a previous period of separation’s ending, it is deemed to be a single continuous period of separation.
  • Young people aged 17 when their separation began, but who turned 18 more than seven days before the separation ended have been counted.

On 31 December 2023, there were 153 young people aged 18 or over in the youth estate. Details of their ethnicity and religious affiliation are provided in the following tables.

Number of 18+ year olds by ethnic group, December 2023

Number of 18+ year olds

Asian

8

Black

48

Mixed

22

Not Known

*

Other

*

White

69

Grand Total

153


Note
The symbol * is used for suppressed values of five or fewer, to prevent disclosure in accordance with data protection principles. Zero figures are not suppressed.

Number of 18+ year olds by religious group, December 2023

Number of 18+ year olds

No Religion

24

Christian

55

Muslim

22

Other religion

10

Religion not stated

42

Grand Total

153

As of 06 February 2024, the oldest young person accommodated in the youth estate was 18 years old.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what is the age of the oldest individual placed in the youth secure estate as of 6 February 2024.

The latest 12-month period for which data are available is 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. During that period, 56 young people aged 18 or over in the youth secure estate were separated for more than seven days. All of these were in young offender institutions.

In making the above calculation, the following rules were applied:

  • Where a period of separation began before 01 April 2022, the full duration of the separation has been counted.
  • Where a period of separation began before 31 March 2023, it is deemed to have ended on 31 March 2023 for the purpose of this calculation.
  • The data provided relate to continuous periods of separation of more than seven days.
  • If a new period of separation began within five days of a previous period of separation’s ending, it is deemed to be a single continuous period of separation.
  • Young people aged 17 when their separation began, but who turned 18 more than seven days before the separation ended have been counted.

On 31 December 2023, there were 153 young people aged 18 or over in the youth estate. Details of their ethnicity and religious affiliation are provided in the following tables.

Number of 18+ year olds by ethnic group, December 2023

Number of 18+ year olds

Asian

8

Black

48

Mixed

22

Not Known

*

Other

*

White

69

Grand Total

153


Note
The symbol * is used for suppressed values of five or fewer, to prevent disclosure in accordance with data protection principles. Zero figures are not suppressed.

Number of 18+ year olds by religious group, December 2023

Number of 18+ year olds

No Religion

24

Christian

55

Muslim

22

Other religion

10

Religion not stated

42

Grand Total

153

As of 06 February 2024, the oldest young person accommodated in the youth estate was 18 years old.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how long on average it takes to train new prison officers.

All new Prison Officers receive a minimum of ten weeks of training which provides them with the skills required to be a competent prison officer.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many assaults were committed against prison staff by prisoners in HMP Lowdham Grange in (a) 2021, (b) 2022 and (c) 2023.

We publish the number of assaults against prison staff, broken down by establishment, as part of our Safety in Custody statistics, in Table 8e of the summary tables, available at the following link: Safety in custody: quarterly update to September 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Totals for those occurring at HMP Lowdham Grange can be seen at row 96. Please note that the number of assaults occurring in October-December 2023 cannot be provided as they are due for publication at the end of April.

While the overall rate of staff assault across the prison estate remains below pre-pandemic levels, we continue to ensure all our hardworking staff are protected and will never tolerate violence against our hardworking prison officers. Prisoners who are violent towards staff will face the full consequences of their actions and will be dealt with swiftly and effectively, which includes further time behind bars.

We are providing staff in the adult male estate with a personal safety training package in order to protect them from serious violence. We also continue to provide targeted support to prisons to operate the Challenge, Support and Intervention Plan (CSIP) which provides a framework for managing violence that is centred around the individual needs of prisoners, helping them to move away from violent behaviours.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times the National Tactical Response Group has been deployed in each year since 2018.

The National Tactical Response Group (NTRG) are a specialist resource that provide intervention options to the Silver and Gold commanders. NTRG is a highly trained team that provide expertise in technical interventions that would carry higher risk of failure or injury, and which require skills and equipment limited only to NTRG staff.

The information requested can be found in the table(s) below.

Number of deployments of National Tactical Response Group (NTRG) by year since 2018

Year

Number of deployments of NTRG

2018

628

2019

719

2020

455

2021

384

2022

570

2023

794

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times Tornado Teams have been deployed to incidents in prisons in England and Wales in each year since 2018.

Operation Tornado is a national mutual aid plan by which prisons support one another in the event of a serious incident or occurrence requiring a reinforcement of staff. Operation Tornado is employed by HMPPS for three main reasons:

  • In response to a serious incident requiring a reinforcement of staff.
  • In response to other events or crisis requiring additional staff, who may not necessarily need to be Tornado trained.
  • To aid the transfer of prisoners in the event of a serious incident or the threat of one (with the GOLD commander’s agreement).

The table below lists how many times Tornado Teams have been deployed at the end of each year since 2018.

Year

Deployments to Prisons

2018

10

2019

10

2020

6

2021

4

2022

9

2023

13

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to address alcohol harm in prisons.

The Ministry of Justice works closely with NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to ensure that all prisoners who need it have access to high-quality alcohol and substance misuse treatment. As part of the government’s 10-year drug strategy, DHSC has made a record £532 million of additional investment through to 2024/25 to improve drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services


The MoJ is also investing to tackle drug and alcohol misuse and engage more offenders in treatment, including recruiting Drug Strategy Leads in key prisons to coordinate a whole-system approach, and Health and Justice Coordinators in every probation region to improve links between prison and local drug and alcohol treatment services.

We are also expanding the number of Incentivised Substance-Free Living Units where prisoners commit to remaining free of illicit drugs and alcohol, with regular drug testing and incentives. We now have over 60 of these wings across the estate, and are aiming to reach up to 100 by March 2025. This will dramatically expand the number of prisoners who have access to these wings.

We are committed to tackling the supply of drugs and alcohol into prison. Our £100m Security Investment Programme completed in March 2022 and delivered 75 additional X-ray body scanners, resulting in full coverage across the closed male estate. We have also installed 84 X-ray baggage scanners at 49 sites, building on the rollout of our body scanners, drug trace detection machines and metal detection archways.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to help ensure that people convicted of a crime in which alcohol was an aggravating factor are provided with harm reduction (a) support and (b) education as part of their sentence.

The Ministry of Justice is committed to tackling the underlying causes of offending, including alcohol misuse, as it is crucial to reducing reoffending. Between 2011/12 and 2021/22, the overall proven reoffending rate has decreased from 31.3% to 25.2% and we are continuing taking action to drive down the reoffending rate even further.

In the community, we want to make the best use of alternatives to custody to ensure that offenders with substance misuse needs are diverted to treatment wherever appropriate. Offenders can be given an Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR) as part of a community sentence, and we are committed to increasing the use of these. The Department for Health and Social Care are investing £532m to increase drug and alcohol treatment and recovery places and we have recruited new Health and Justice Coordinators in every probation region to improve links between probation and local drug and alcohol treatment services.

We are also piloting three Intensive Supervision Courts where offenders will be subject to regular reviews with a judge, drug testing, incentives and sanctions.

In custody, we have recruited Drug Strategy Leads in key prisons to ensure a focus on tackling drug and alcohol misuse. Staying in treatment on release is crucial and so we are also rolling out more secure video calling technology, providing prisoners with the opportunity to engage with community treatment pre-release. We are also expanding the number of Incentivised Substance-Free Living Units where prisoners commit to remaining free of illicit drugs and alcohol, with regular drug testing and incentives. We now have over 60 of these wings across the estate and are aiming to reach up to 100 by March 2025. This will dramatically expand the number of prisoners who have access to these wings.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2024 to Question 5054 on Prison Sentences: Foreign Nationals, what the evidential basis is for the calculation of the number of previous convictions of non-UK nationals in prison incurring a disproportionate cost.

A cost calculation was completed which reflects that there are over 350 nationality codes within the Ministry of Justice extract of the Police National Computer, and an individual can have multiple nationalities. Establishing which individuals are known not to be UK nationals from this data and identifying their criminal histories would have required bespoke investigation, coding and linkage to wider data.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in identifying prisoners’ children, by sex and age, and obtaining other relevant data for their welfare, through the Better Outcomes through Linked Data programme.

The Ministry of Justice’s most comprehensive estimate remains that over the course of a year, approximately 200,000 children may be affected by a parent being in or going to prison. This estimate is based on 2009 survey data.

The Prison Strategy White paper detailed our intention to work with other government departments to commission updated research to improve our collective understanding of the overall number of children affected by parental incarceration.

As part of this work, changes have been made to the Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCST) to enable us to collect data on entry to prison about how many primary carers are in custody and how many children under the age of 18 are affected by their imprisonment, which means that we can access this information centrally. Questions contained within the BCST are under continuous review to reflect learning from operational colleagues and people with lived experience of prison. While the BCST does include questions on the sex and ages of dependents of prisoners, the collection of this information relies solely on self-declaration of the parent in prison and therefore may raise challenges as to the accuracy or consistency of this information without being able to verify with other sources.

The Government is delivering on its white paper commitment to improve our data and evidence in this area, through the Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD) Programme. BOLD is a £19.7m cross government Shared Outcomes Fund programme which is linking data to enable better evidenced and more joined up cross government services. The purpose of BOLD is to identify the overall scale of the issue by improving our understanding of the number of children affected by parental imprisonment. The BOLD programme aims to do this by exploring data available across government, including information that does not rely on self-disclosure. We expect findings from the project to be published in Spring 2024.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in collecting data on prisoners who are primary carers and their children through the Basic Custody Screening Tool so that this information can be accessed centrally.

The Ministry of Justice’s most comprehensive estimate remains that over the course of a year, approximately 200,000 children may be affected by a parent being in or going to prison. This estimate is based on 2009 survey data.

The Prison Strategy White paper detailed our intention to work with other government departments to commission updated research to improve our collective understanding of the overall number of children affected by parental incarceration.

As part of this work, changes have been made to the Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCST) to enable us to collect data on entry to prison about how many primary carers are in custody and how many children under the age of 18 are affected by their imprisonment, which means that we can access this information centrally. Questions contained within the BCST are under continuous review to reflect learning from operational colleagues and people with lived experience of prison. While the BCST does include questions on the sex and ages of dependents of prisoners, the collection of this information relies solely on self-declaration of the parent in prison and therefore may raise challenges as to the accuracy or consistency of this information without being able to verify with other sources.

The Government is delivering on its white paper commitment to improve our data and evidence in this area, through the Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD) Programme. BOLD is a £19.7m cross government Shared Outcomes Fund programme which is linking data to enable better evidenced and more joined up cross government services. The purpose of BOLD is to identify the overall scale of the issue by improving our understanding of the number of children affected by parental imprisonment. The BOLD programme aims to do this by exploring data available across government, including information that does not rely on self-disclosure. We expect findings from the project to be published in Spring 2024.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their most recent estimate for the number of children with (1) a parent in prison, and (2) a primary carer in prison.

The Ministry of Justice’s most comprehensive estimate remains that over the course of a year, approximately 200,000 children may be affected by a parent being in or going to prison. This estimate is based on 2009 survey data.

The Prison Strategy White paper detailed our intention to work with other government departments to commission updated research to improve our collective understanding of the overall number of children affected by parental incarceration.

As part of this work, changes have been made to the Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCST) to enable us to collect data on entry to prison about how many primary carers are in custody and how many children under the age of 18 are affected by their imprisonment, which means that we can access this information centrally. Questions contained within the BCST are under continuous review to reflect learning from operational colleagues and people with lived experience of prison. While the BCST does include questions on the sex and ages of dependents of prisoners, the collection of this information relies solely on self-declaration of the parent in prison and therefore may raise challenges as to the accuracy or consistency of this information without being able to verify with other sources.

The Government is delivering on its white paper commitment to improve our data and evidence in this area, through the Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD) Programme. BOLD is a £19.7m cross government Shared Outcomes Fund programme which is linking data to enable better evidenced and more joined up cross government services. The purpose of BOLD is to identify the overall scale of the issue by improving our understanding of the number of children affected by parental imprisonment. The BOLD programme aims to do this by exploring data available across government, including information that does not rely on self-disclosure. We expect findings from the project to be published in Spring 2024.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of sentences for murder were calculated from the starting point of (a) 15 years, (b) 25 years, (c) 30 years and (d) a whole life tariff in each of the last three years.

All murder convictions must result in a life sentence. When a life sentence is imposed, the Judge will calculate the minimum term by selecting the appropriate starting point as set out in legislation – namely Schedule 21 of the Sentencing Act 2020. When sentencing adult offenders, the starting points are 15, 25, 30 years or a whole life order.

The Ministry of Justice publishes information on the number of prosecutions, convictions, and sentences across various offences in the Outcomes by Offence data tool. Please filter by the offence ‘murder’ in the sentence outcomes tab for details on the number of offenders sentenced for murder.

Statistical data on starting points for murder sentences, including domestic homicides, is not collected. The information may be held on individual court records, however interrogating these would incur disproportionate costs.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of sentences for domestic homicides were calculated from the starting point of (a) 15 years, (b) 25 years, (c) 30 years and (d) a whole life tariff in each of the last three years.

All murder convictions must result in a life sentence. When a life sentence is imposed, the Judge will calculate the minimum term by selecting the appropriate starting point as set out in legislation – namely Schedule 21 of the Sentencing Act 2020. When sentencing adult offenders, the starting points are 15, 25, 30 years or a whole life order.

The Ministry of Justice publishes information on the number of prosecutions, convictions, and sentences across various offences in the Outcomes by Offence data tool. Please filter by the offence ‘murder’ in the sentence outcomes tab for details on the number of offenders sentenced for murder.

Statistical data on starting points for murder sentences, including domestic homicides, is not collected. The information may be held on individual court records, however interrogating these would incur disproportionate costs.

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department conducted a women-specific impact and health needs assessment prior to the roll out of the use of alcohol monitoring tags.

There have been two equalities impact assessments, both of which considered offenders’ sex, prior to the Department’s introduction of alcohol monitoring.

An Equalities Impact Assessment was carried out on the alcohol monitoring measures introduced by the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, it is published and available using this link: Alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement (justice.gov.uk).

A further Equalities Impact Assessment was carried out and published alongside the Statutory Instrument to commence the Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement, The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 14) Order 2020, and is available using this link: The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No. 14) Order 2020 (legislation.gov.uk).

Gareth Bacon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the timely hearing of cases in county courts.

We are taking action to ensure those that do need to go to trial are dealt with quickly. We have launched the biggest ever judicial recruitment drive for District Judges, are digitising court processes and holding more remote hearings, and are increasing the use of mediation. HMCTS’ Virtual Region pilot provides targeted support to the South East and London Regions to hear cases remotely where there is judicial resource available elsewhere in England and Wales.

We announced in July that we would introduce a requirement for small claims in the county court to attend a mediation session with the Small Claims Mediation Service, starting with specified money claims. This requirement will start in the spring and is expected to help parties resolve their dispute swiftly and consensually without the need for a judicial hearing.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions a body was released more than seven days after the coroner's office was notified in (a) Birmingham and (b) Solihull in each of the last 12 months; and whether the coroner (i) collects information on someone's religion and (ii) takes into account the timeframe for religious beliefs and practices relating to death and dying.

Information is not held centrally on the release by coroners of the bodies of the deceased whose deaths are reported to them.

Coroners are judges and, as such, are independent in the decisions they make in conducting their investigations. They exercise their judicial discretion in accordance with the relevant statutory and regulatory framework.

The Chief Coroner has issued a suite of Guidance to assist coroners with the law and their legal duties, and to provide advice on policy and practice. His Guidance No.28 on Decision Making and Expedited Decisions is intended to be a practical guide to assist coroners in situations where a bereaved family has made a request to the coroner for urgent consideration of the death of a loved one and/or early release of their body; or where the coroner or coroner’s officers otherwise become aware of features of a particular death which may justify treating it as especially urgent.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average cost to the public purse is of a person aged 18 or over being placed in the children’s secure estate.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer I gave to Question 8178 on 11 January 2024: Written questions and answers - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament.

There is no difference in the average cost to public purse if an 18-year-old remains within the youth secure estate upon reaching the age of 18. Newly-sentenced or remanded 18-year-olds are placed into adult establishments.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many companies bid for the contract for running HMP Lowdham Grange awarded in August 2022.

Five companies from the Prison Operator Services Framework submitted a bid for the operator contract for HMP Lowdham Grange.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times an ambulance has been called to HMP Lowdham Grange in (a) 2021, (b) 2022 and (c) 2023.

In line with policy at HMP Lowdham Grange, when a medical emergency procedure is activated, it is standard response for the communications room to call for an ambulance. This is in partnership with the prison’s healthcare providers. HMPPS does not hold information about the number of times the ambulance service has been called to attend the prison as the information is held by NHS England.

HMPPS contract management teams provide assurance that the prison provides safe, decent and secure services in accordance with the contract.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of probation officer caseload.

We have increased funding for the Probation Service by an additional £155m a year since 2021 to recruit staff, bring down caseloads and deliver better supervision of offenders in the community.

We have also accelerated recruitment of trainee Probation Officers, particularly in areas with the most significant staffing challenges. As a result, over 4,000 trainees, a record number, have started on training courses between April 2020 and March 2023. These intakes will qualify by the end of 2024 and will have a direct impact on reducing caseloads.

The Probation Service is constantly monitoring staffing levels and retention, specifically in hard to recruit to areas, which remain challenging. We continue to take tactical decisions to mitigate the risk in sites where it is most acute, as well as taking forward several non-pay related activities to improve retention.

From September 2022 to September 2023, the Probation Service saw an increase in staff of 11.8%, Senior Probation Officers saw an increase of 13%, and Probation Officers saw an increase of 6.9%.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many men aged (1) 70–72, (2) 73–75, (3) 76–79, and (4) 80 and above, were held in prisons nationally in each year since 2010; and of those, how many in each age category were diagnosed with progressive dementia.

Annual data on the number of men in prison in the specified age groups are set out in the table attached. Information about prisoners diagnosed with dementia is collected by the NHS. It is not collated in the form requested and could not be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

Health services for those in custody, including dementia support, are the responsibility of the NHS, which is required to provide services of a standard equivalent to that which is available to the general population.

HMPPS works in partnership with the NHS and Adult Social Care services to support prisoners with dementia. Examples include awareness training for staff, cognitive exercises such as reminiscence activities, and cognitive stimulation therapy. Additionally, the Ministry of Justice has published guidance on the circumstances under which applications can be made for prisoners to be considered for early release on compassionate grounds subject to specific criteria being met. This can be accessed on gov.uk or using the link provided: www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-release-on-compassionate-grounds-policy-framework.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether prison officers working in the youth secure estate receive training on tackling violence against women and girls.

The Youth Custody Service (YCS) recognises that girls have specific needs that require a gender-specific approach. A national Girls Oversight Board has been established to lead on the work of providing a dedicated care strategy, appropriate complex case management, and learning and development for staff.

A bespoke training offer is being developed by YCS Psychology Services for staff working with girls in our Young Offender Institution and Secure Training Centre sectors. This will cover a range of gender-specific issues that directly affect girls and young women.

Placement decisions in relation to girls in the youth secure estate take full account of the wider population of children. The Ministry of Justice expects standards of behaviour towards girls and women to be modelled and challenged appropriately by operational staff, and the mixing of cohorts is closely supervised at all times.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many foreign national offenders there are in the youth secure estate; and if she will provide a breakdown of those figures by offence type.

As of 30 November 2023, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 71 foreign nationals in the youth secure estate. A breakdown by offence type is given in the table below.

Table 1: Number of foreign national children and young people by offence group, 30 November 2023

Offence Group 1

Number 2

Breach of statutory order

*

Domestic burglary

*

Drugs

*

Other 3

10

Robbery

*

Sexual Offences

*

Violence Against the Person

44

Total

71

Notes:

  1. Offence Group is based on the individual’s most serious offence for their most precedent legal basis.
  1. The symbol * is used for suppressed values of five or fewer, to prevent disclosure in accordance with data protection principles. Zero figures are not suppressed.
  1. “Other” includes Arson, Breach of Bail, Breach of Conditional Discharge, Criminal Damage, Causing Death or Injury by Dangerous Driving, Fraud and Forgery, Motoring Offences, Non-domestic Burglary, Other, Public Order, Racially Aggravated, Theft and Handling Stolen Goods and Vehicle Theft / Unauthorised Taking.

Data Source: Further breakdown of youth custody data for November 2023.

Since 2010, we have removed over 55,000 foreign national offenders from our prisons, immigration removal centres and the community. Between January 2019 and September 2023, we returned 16,676 FNOs.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to ensure that people who are released from prison have suitable accommodation.

A settled place to live is key to reducing reoffending, cutting crime and protecting the public. Our Prisons Strategy White Paper set out our plans to reduce reoffending, including improving prison leavers’ access to accommodation.

In July 2021, we launched a new transitional accommodation service, Community Accommodation Service - Tier 3 (CAS3), providing up to 12 weeks accommodation on release with support to move to settled accommodation, for those leaving prison at risk of homelessness, in five probation regions. The service is now operating in all 12 probation regions, and new places continue to be added as it develops. From the commencement of the service on 1 July 2021 up to 31 March 2023, a total of 5,796 people were placed in CAS3 accommodation.

We are working closely with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, through its Accommodation for Ex-Offenders scheme (AfEO), to build a pathway from prison, ensuring prison leavers can move-on into settled accommodation. We have also increased the number of Strategic Housing Specialists across England and Wales to 48 FTE and have embedded the Homelessness Prevention Teams within Probation regions to strengthen strategic relationships between prisons, probation and local authorities and build accommodation pathways.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of the prison population is on a Fixed Term Recall to custody.

As at 31 December 2023, 0.3% of the prison population were on a fixed-term recall to custody. These figures have been drawn from the Public Protection Unit Database held by His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. As with any large scale recording systems, the figures are subject to possible errors with data migration and processing.

From January to September 2023, 4,889 fixed term recalls were issued. Figures for the last quarter of 2023 will be published in April.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)